We are doing science for policy
The Joint Research Centre (JRC) is the European Commission's science and knowledge service which employs scientists to carry out research in order to provide independent scientific advice and support to EU policy.
Six European Union Member States are in the top ten list of the 10 most innovative nations (Sweden (2), United Kingdom (3), Netherlands (4), Finland (6), Denmark (9), Ireland (10)), while Switzerland retained its place atop the rankings in the Global Innovation Index (GII) 2013, published by Cornell University, INSEAD, and the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO). The index was submitted, for the third consecutive year, to an independent statistical audit by the JRC.
Are ratings and rankings non-debatable? Does the weight given to one variable actually reflect its real importance? In a recently published article in the Journal of the Royal Statistical Society A the JRC describes its statistical method to assess the quality of multi-dimensional indices (composite indicators). The analysis shows that for several of these indices equal importance is attributed to the underlying variables, while in many cases, only a few variables drive the results and others are merely cosmetic. The JRC method can help developers revise their composite indicators in order to obtain statistical coherence.
A new single innovation indicator, which the JRC helped develop, has been presented at this week's European Council Summit on 24 and 25 October. The indicator focuses on innovation output and measures the extent to which ideas from innovative sectors are able to reach the market, providing better jobs and making Europe more competitive.
The Environment and Gender Index (EGI) was launched by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) today during the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCC COP19) in Warsaw. The EGI attempts to monitor progress toward gender equality in the context of global environmental governance and provides information on how 72 nations (including 11 EU members) are translating gender and environment mandates into national policy and planning.
The 2013 edition of the Regional Competitiveness Index (RCI) has been launched by the JRC, in collaboration with the European Commission's Directorate-General for Regional Policy. The RCI was first published in 2010 and shows that competitiveness has a strong regional dimension, which national level indicators cannot capture.
The JRC and the University of South Carolina co-authored a study developing a series of indices to measure the drug consequences in the USA over the last decade. It is the first set of indices developed in a US context that summarises the multidimensional phenomenon of drug-related consequences over a multi-year period. The JRC was invited to underpin all the analytical work, given its renowned expertise on composite indicators for policy making. The study was published by the Office for National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) of the White House.
The JRC supported the United Nations' International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) to develop the Multidimensional Poverty Assessment Tool (MPAT), launched today at the UN IFAD premises in Rome. MPAT is an innovative tool for assessing, understanding and addressing rural poverty. It provides data that can inform all levels of decision-making by providing a clearer understanding of rural poverty at household and village level.
JRC analysis of EU human settlements, land-use and resource efficiency, as well as modelling work addressing options for urban and regional development have fed into the 6th Report on Economic, Social and Territorial Cohesion, released on 23 July by the European Commission.
JRC scientists in collaboration with the Directorate-General for Regional and Urban Policy have built a composite index (MPI-reg) that measures non-income related poverty by studying three dimensions: education, health and living standards.